Jaw Implant Bone Erosion

Q: Dr. Eppley, I have read from a few plastic surgeons that bone erosion can occur some time after a jaw/chin implant procedure. (jaw implant bone erosion) Would you mind elaborating on this for me? Will this effect the result in the future? How can I minimize bone erosion?

A: To put those comments into perspective the statement that jaw implant bone erosion occurs implies an active inflammatory bone destructive process…which does not occur. All facial implants, like all body implants including breast implants, create the biologic reaction of tissue adaptation around the implant. This is a normal process that the misinformed interpret erroneously as ‘bone erosion’. It is better turned ‘passive settling’ which means the implant is associated with a pattern or imprint on the bone which is the body’s way of relieving the pressure from an object that is naturally not meant to be there. This may be a millimeter or two of the implant settling into the bone. There may even be bone growth around the edges of the implant up onto the implant.This is a self-limited process and is most commonly associated with smaller facial implants, most commonly standard chin implants. This is not a biologic process that I have seen in much larger implants like wrap around jawline implants or skull implants…probably because the larger size of the implant distributes the pressure of tissue displacement over a broader surface area

Dr. Barry Eppley
Indianapolis, Indiana